#2 had his first dentist appointment today. Our dentist recommends a first visit and cleaning around age 4, and this suited us just fine as until the last year #2 was rather phobic about people doing stuff with his mouth–a result, I’m sure, of my forcing antibiotics into him daily the first year or so of his life.
I was a bit worried about the state of his teeth and was unfortunately proven right in some of my concerns over his use of prophylactic antibiotics. His teeth came in yellowed, as I was warned they might, but worse than that the antibiotics appear to have contributed to a certain amount of weakness and early decay in some of his teeth. One molar is in really rough shape. None of his teeth are bothering him, but having noticed this while brushing his teeth I wanted it looked at before it became a problem.
He was a total champ through the visit. He did everything the hygienist and dentist asked of him. (Amazingly to me) He sat perfectly still for two sets of two different types of x-rays. He asked good questions and answered with good answers. He even asked if he’d get a toothbrush and floss of his own to take home with him. He loved the ceiling television. He’s actually excited about going back in a few weeks.
I’m much less excited about it all. Of the two boys, #2 is the best about his oral hygiene–reminding me about his teeth if I forget, asking if he can go brush after lunch, loves to floss–yet he’s the poor little bugger saddled with an impending shopping list of dental work before he even turns five. In all honesty, hearing the phrase “we don’t do root canals on primary teeth” in reference to my 4-year old made my knees go to jelly. Hindsight is always 20/20, and right now I can’t help wondering if the gamble of giving him the antibiotics was worth the damage to his teeth.
The good news at the end of it all, however, is that he loves going to the dentist and (damage aside) has great teeth with perfect spacing. The dentist was very impressed with how cooperative he was and commented on how rare it is for a kid his age to behave the way he did today.
Hopefully we’ll get a repeat performance when we go back in March.